Hoppy Pretzel Dogs

Did you see the Hopped Up Pretzel Bites I shared for this month's #FoodieExtravaganza? My family's reaction: "Mommy, these are great, but yours are a little deformed." Thanks.

Well, I did a better job with my pretzel dogs, using some of the leftover pretzel dough. As soon as I put a plate of these on the table, all of my boys swarmed around it like lions at a kill.

I've seen a ton of recipes for pretzels made with beer. But I decided to make mine with real Cascade hops from my friends Shelby and Dave. I did drink the beer with my pretzel dog though. Have you ever seen hops? They are so delicate; it's hard to imagine how much of a flavor punch they add to things. I loved the look of the pretzel dogs with hops blossoms in the dough.

Ingredients1-1/2 C warm water1 T active dry yeast2 T organic granulated sugar2 Cascade hops blossoms, broken up into petals4 C all-purpose flour + more for kneading1/2 C dark rye flour1/2 C baking sodawaterhot dogs (we like Applegate)1 large egg, beatenfleur de sel for sprinkling
ProcedurePreheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water and float the Cascade hops in the water. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.

Let the yeast bloom till frothy, approximately 10 minutes. Some clusters of yeast will remain. 

Slowly add 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 C dark rye flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is thick. Add 1 more cup flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it's still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Press the dough with your finger. If it bounces back, it's ready to knead.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes and re-shape into a ball. 
Divide the ball into quarters, then divide each quarter into halves. Roll the dough into a long cylinder and cut into strips. Wrap the dough to cover the dog as much as possible; I left the ends open. When I make them again, I'll make sure to cover at least one end so that hot dog doesn't slide out when  you bite into it.
Fill a large souppot with 8 to 9 C of water. Once it comes to a boil, add in the baking soda carefully. It will bubble up, so be careful. Drop the pretzel-wrapped dogs into the water. They will float to the surface within a minute or so.
Remove the pretzel dogs, drain, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 450 degrees F - until the pretzel dough is a deep chestnut brown color. Transfer the pretzel dogs to a wire rack to cool slightly.

We served ours with sides of mustard and ketchup. They were devoured in minutes. Seriously. These will be on our table again soon.